A Filipino who lost his life while serving as a United Nations peacekeeper will be honored posthumously on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers today.
Sergeant Benson Angot died while serving with the United Nations Mission in Liberia.
To honor the fallen peacekeepers and those who continue to serve in the cause of peace, there will be several events at the UN Headquarters in New York on May 29. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will oversee a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of all fallen peacekeepers and he will award the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal posthumously to 106 military, police and civilian personnel including Angot.
The Philippines currently contributes 676 military and police personnel to the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, India-Pakistan, Liberia, and the Middle East.
Commemorative activities will be held at the UN headquarters in New York, as well as at UN peacekeeping operations and offices around the world.
For the sixth year in a row, the UN will honor more than 100 Blue Helmets who lost their lives the previous year while serving the cause of peace in UN missions around the world.
This year’s commemorative ceremonies come at a time when the services of United Nations peacekeepers continue to be in great demand. There are nearly 85,000 military personnel, 12,500 police officers, 17,000 international civilian and national staff serving in 16 peacekeeping operations on four continents.
In a message to mark the Day, Ban: “Last year, 106 Peacekeepers perished carrying out their duty under the UN flag, bringing the total number of lives lost in the history of peacekeeping to more than 3,200. We mourn the passing of every one of these courageous individuals. We grieve with their friends and families and we recommit ourselves to ensure that their contributions to the cause of peace will never be forgotten.”
He added: “Let us all commit to following the selfless example of our fallen heroes, as we work together to help our blue helmets be a force for peace, a force for change, and a force for the future.”
According to the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous “we honor those who have lost their lives while serving on our peacekeeping operations. Our courageous peacekeepers who made this ultimate sacrifice did so that others could have a better life. I express my deepest and most sincere condolences to the families and friends of those we honor today. We honor their memory and pay tribute to their dedication.”